Benitez expects Chelsea fan unity

Rafael Benitez does not believe the Chelsea fans should be opposed to his appointment, despite the run-ins he had with the club when Liverpool manager.

New Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez poses with a shirt

The Spaniard has been named as interim coach at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season following the departure of Roberto Di Matteo.

Benitez had a number of Champions League showdowns with Jose Mourinho's Chelsea when Liverpool manager and some of his comments at the time antagonised the Blues fans.

But he said at his unveiling on Thursday: "I want to be honest, if I say this or that, I have to analyse the context.

"We were playing against Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

"If I am a fan I want to see the manager fighting for my club. I don't see this as a lack of respect for Chelsea's fans, just a manager defending his team."

He added: "I like to do things in the right way for the fans.

"The fans and manager want to win every single game, nobody wants to win more than than fans and manager.

"At the end I think that they will be pleased."

Benitez could not escape the suggestion he was only keeping the seat warm for Roman Abramovich's number one target - Pep Guardiola.

"I have a very good relationship with Guardiola, a great manager," he added.

"What will happen in the future, you never know.

"For nearly two years, I was waiting for the right opportunity. Now I have this chance.

"I have to do my best to try and take it."

He added: "I don't need to win trophies. I would like to win trophies."

Even that has not proven to be enough for Abramovich, who sacked Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Di Matteo after they all delivered unprecedented success to Chelsea.

The Russian is said to want to see 'Barcelona in blue shirts' at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't know about the style he wants, but he'll be happy with the team winning," said Benitez, who has a reputation for playing a more cautious game.

"It's not about one way to play.

"Michael told me we have a good team and they trust me.

"He knew me at Valencia, and we played against Chelsea so many times.

"At Valencia, winning the Spanish league after 31 years, it wasn't bad.

"If we play like Valencia, we can win and he'll be happy anyway."



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